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Trucking industry faces its toughest test

AUSTRALIA’S trucking industry is facing its toughest test with the soaring fuel prices.

In the past 12 months the price of diesel fuel has risen between 30¢ and 40¢.

Oil and lubricants costs have also skyrocketed.

Other costs such as insurance and accounting fees have gone up.

Prime mover and trailer registration fees have more than trebled in the past six years.

And to add to the truckies’ woes, fuel prices are likely to increase again as the northern winter takes hold and demand for heating oil – predominantly diesel – goes up.

In the past few years there has been a price jump as the winter fuel demand bites.

Transport Workers Union officer Paul Haslan said cartage rates had fallen as fuel prices had risen.

“We’ve had the Federal Government and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission telling transport companies to cut cartage rates because of the Diesel Fuel Grant,” Mr Haslan said.

In the metropolitan area only operators of trucks weighing more than 20 tonnes can apply for the grant. In the regions that weight cut-off drops to 4.5 tonnes.

However, that 17¢ per litre grant is tax assessable.

“Depending on how the truckie has structured his company, one third of that grant could go in tax,” Mr Haslan said.

He said a lot of people had been forced out of the industry.

“The Business Activity Statements will flush out a lot of people,” Mr Haslan said.

“I know of a lot of truck drivers that have spent their input tax credits just keeping their vehicles on the road.”

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